Raven ZZ Plant Guide Care

ZZ plants are a household name in any houseplant collection as they are low-maintenance and hardy. This succulent plant is widespread, and these days, you can find different mysterious and dark Raven ZZ plants, better known as Zamioculcas zamiifolia ‘Raven.’

The plant debuted in 2019 but was first discovered in 2015, making up part of the Trending Tropical collection at Costa Farms. Today, it is a trendy houseplant with deep dark purple to black foliage.

But pet owners should be aware that Raven Zz is toxic when ingested.

Raven ZZ Plant Table Guide

raven zz care card

Raven ZZ Plant Care Basics

raven zz plant

The Raven ZZ plant, like other ZZ plants, is an easy houseplant to care for. It can tolerate different lighting conditions as it has thick rhizomes and is drought-tolerant.

Here are the primary Raven ZZ plant care needs to ensure your indoor plant thrives.

Soil Mix For Raven ZZ Succulent

potting mix

The best soil is an airy to well-draining one for your plants. While your plant can grow in typical houseplant soil, it is best potted in soil amended with pumice, perlite, or sand to increase drainage.

Watering Needs for Succulent Plants

The Raven ZZ plant has water-storing rhizomes. So, what does this mean? It means that as it is a drought-tolerant plant, it does not need a lot of watering. Overwatering your plant leads to root rot, killing the plant. We recommend allowing the soil to dry out between watering.

It will need a bit more water during the growing season of spring and summer than in winter. The best way to test if your ZZ plant needs water is to stick your finger in the soil and feel if the top two inches are dry before watering.

Light Conditions For ZZ Plants

raven zz lighting condition

Most Raven ZZ plants have no problems with light and can grow from low to bright indirect light. Still, the ideal conditions are bright, indirect light. The ZZ plant can survive in low light but can lead to unattractive leggy growth.

We recommend avoiding placing your houseplant where it receives too much direct sunlight, like in the afternoons, as it leads to leaf burn.

Temperature & Humidity 

The tropical plant can thrive in a household environment as it loves warm temperatures and moderate humidity. While it does not need high moisture levels, keeping the temperature between 65 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit (18 to 29 degrees Celsius) is best. It will help prevent your plant from going into shock.

Fertilizing Raven ZZ

plant fertilizer

The ZZ Raven benefits from a soil mix rich in organic materials, but regular fertilization in the active growing period helps. We recommend using a balanced fertilizer on most houseplants. You can feed your plants every three to four weeks to encourage healthy growth.


The raven ZZ plant is a rare type of ZZ that you cannot commonly see in plant nurseries. In several countries, propagating and selling the plant is unlawful to avoid exploitation.

If you are lucky to have the rare raven ZZ plant in your home, it is one of the unchallenging house plants you can propagate. To propagate almost all succulent plants such as the raven ZZ, you may choose cuttings from leaves and stems or separate its tuber.

After propagating it, do not water the plant for two weeks. Doing this allows the plant to root profoundly and encourages it to add roots.

Growth Zone

Ideally, the Raven ZZ plant can thrive in tropical and desert areas. The said plant is drought-resistant and has been proven to tolerate a hot climate. It also thrives in temperate regions with minimal amounts of sunlight.

Watering the plant every two weeks in tropical areas and exposure to low indirect sunlight can reach its maximum height of 3 feet. During the winter, you can water Raven ZZ once a month and put it in a bigger pot if you want this plant to achieve its full height.

Repotting ZZ Plant

The ZZ plant grows slowly and only needs repotting once it outgrows the container. The Raven ZZ can tolerate being rootbound and repot them every two to three years.

Indications that your plant requires a new plant pot is when you notice the rhizomes creeping out the drainage holes or pushing up the edge of the container.

Upgrade to a size a few inches bigger than the previous container to prevent overwatering your plant. When repotting, you can refresh the soil to provide your Raven ZZ with the necessary nutrients.

Raven ZZ Varieties and Similar Plants

dark raven zz plant

The raven ZZ plant is similar to its original dark green ZZ plant in structure, height, leaf shape, and requirement, but it only differs in color (purple to nearly black).

The regular ZZ succulent plant boasts evergreen to dark green foliage with thick stems and trunks. The black ZZ plant shares a similar appearance, except for its unique, almost black leaves that stand out in contrast to the regular green variety.

Common Pests and Plant Diseases

On the Raven ZZ plants, you can look out for these common pests:

  • Thrips,
  • Mealybugs,
  • Scale and,
  • Spider Mites.

We recommend frequently checking your plant for bugs to catch them before they become infested. Treat your affected plants with neem oil or an insecticide by isolating them from your other houseplants.

The leading cause of diseases is root rot from overwatering or contaminated disease-causing bacteria in the soil. If you notice signs of root rot from rotting stems, mushy foliage, or rotting roots, it helps to cut away the diseased parts.

Common Problems With Raven ZZ Plant

As with most ZZ plants, even when hardy, they can still face common problems as follows:

Yellowing Leaves

Most indoor and outdoor plants can suffer from yellow leaves, resulting from the lack of light, a pest infestation, or underwatering. We recommend checking your plant for pests, watering, and light to determine the cause. If your plant stands in low light, it can lose some leaves. Even sudden changes in the light can result in the leaves turning yellow.

Mushy Stems

The sign is always related to root rot, especially if the stems start to rot. You will need to act fast to help save your plant. It helps to cut away those rotted parts on the stems and roots to prevent it from spreading. Then, replant it in dry, well-draining soil and avoid watering for a few weeks.

Frequently Asked Questions

Ensuring your Raven ZZ plant gets adequate light is the best way to keep its color looking vibrant. Also, remember that new shoots will always grow in bright green and turn purple or black as they mature.

While these tropical plants do well in humid conditions, avoiding misting to increase humidity is advisable. Misting only increases humidity temporarily, and leaving water on the leaves can lead to fungal infections. Instead, place your plant on a pebble tray filled with water or close it to a humidifier to provide extra humidity.

While all varieties of ZZ plants do well in various lighting conditions, Raven ZZ plants tend to be a little pickier about their lighting conditions than their green counterparts—particularly if you want to keep the foliage nice and dark. While green ZZ plant varieties quickly grow in low light conditions, the Raven ZZ plant will display the most striking foliage in medium to bright indirect light.

The watering frequency for Raven ZZ plants should be moderate. Allow the soil to dry out thoroughly between waterings, especially during the active growing period in spring and summer. Be cautious not to overwater, as the plant is drought-tolerant and prone to root rot if the soil remains consistently wet.

Yes, you can propagate Raven ZZ plants through division. Carefully separate the rhizomes and plant them in separate containers. Ensure each new plant has a portion of the rhizome and a few stems. Propagation is best done during the growing season for increased success.

Common pests affecting Raven ZZ plants include mealybugs, scale, spider mites, and thrips. Regularly inspect your plant for signs of infestation, and if detected, treat the affected plant with insecticide or neem oil. Isolate the plant immediately to prevent pests from spreading to other houseplants.

Raven ZZ plants thrive in warm temperatures. Maintain temperatures between 65 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit (18 to 29 degrees Celsius) to ensure optimal growth. Avoid exposing the plant to temperatures outside this range to prevent potential shock.

Whether you want to buy, sell, or reach out to other plant enthusiasts, Plantly is the right place to be!

Leave a Reply

Plantly Menu